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Art Auctions: Art That Is Grotesque

Updated on October 3, 2011

Grotesque Art?

 Grotesque art could be classed as an art choice, one that is put down to personal taste in art, but also can be dark in nature and not in the actual spirit of art with paintings and drawings, but can be more of a body of work that incorporates ugliness and controversy in it's subject matter and it ponders the questions of life or meaningless and presents them as lurid sculptures or normal everyday things given a grotesque appeal.

Damien Hirst once placed half a cow in thermaldahide and then put it in a glass case for all of the world to see and that was grotesque, although it was fascinating to see all the insides of a cow, bones and muscles and all that on an artistic level to sketch and draw was great, but on another level, were we ponder the one word question, Why? was is the meaning of doing art like this, does controversy get you more closer to fame or are you really serious about your subject matter in art to do crazy stuff like this?

Artistic concepts can be born out of the grotesque and the abnormal, some are great to look at, while others are just pathetic and don't provide any real artistic integrity to make them stick. A grotesque piece could have many underlying moods and themes that can be identifiable, but also the less talked about taboos could be the subject of what is generally called grotesque art.

Art history tells us that different artists approached their art in varying ways and tackled their subjects based on personal experiences and from the works of Goya and Picasso we can derive an understanding of the many ways in which they presented some forms of art to us, although not directly. Being a grotesque artist could be about focusing an attention on morbid details of past events in ones personal life or history itself.

Artistic movements come and go, but the motivations of creating art remain the same, you can find examples of grotesque art all around us, on eBay, sometimes we see a bad example of a statue that some local artist has worked on and it is horrible and it will be categorized as such, but it's an achievement nonetheless.

Some reasoning behind this type of art, maybe is to just provide a reaction to it, a repulsion, a thought of why they don't like it a sort of bad publicity is good publicity sort of vibe that celebrates the art, even though it is tinged with hate and the honesty of the viewers who study or examine it, feel the emotion of the piece in a negative light.

When I've gone to art museums around the UK, I have seen some terrible sights of art that is apparently there to just let people say "what the hell is that?" what's the point of this type of art? I like art that has meaning but also some interest that I share, for me that's fantasy art and comic book art, it's more real, more tangible and more visually exciting to wonder how the artist got inspired in the first place to create that fantastic piece of art.

Artists like Giger and Bosch, their art can be considered as grotesque, but to me, there work is just superb, of course they have visions of weird stuff, but don't we all and that is the appeal of artists who do fine art and complicated paintings that just sing for me.

Let us praise grotesque art!

Grotesque Art

This example of grotesque art is almost cartoon parody implied by the form.    Image source -
This example of grotesque art is almost cartoon parody implied by the form. Image source -

Modern Art And The Grotesque Book From Amazon

Art Auctions - Grotesque Art

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    • Wayne Tully profile image

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Cheers there LP and Mike!

      Of course there are some types of art that appeal to different minorities and artistic groups and the kinds of art that exist to shock I'm not really a fan of.

      I remember seeing a model of a real life sheeps head and it was painted as if it had been ripped off and it was slapped on a huge bread baguettte, of course the shock value is there and the commercial intent of the art as aimed at meat eaters.... some art is just bollocks though with yoghurt pots hanging from a pubic hair and a paper clip in a cup of water!!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      On a piece by piece basis, I think any artist needs to ask themselves why something needs to exist, i.e., what is offered through the existence of the work? If the answer is nothing, does the painting or sculpture or drawing need to exist? I can accept shock value as a purpose on some levels, but not entirely. Why should the viewer need or want to be shocked? If we are no longer shocked, should a piece continue to exist? These are questions that "grotesque" art will address in order to be accepted. Personally..... I'm not sure I like it, but as lovelypaper said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder--and that is, of course, what makes any definition of art so subjective.

      Nice and thought-provoking hub, Wayne.


    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Ha I like that picture it is art and it isn't in a way I love how the form of the characters is just so cartoony I guess it is art, oh well!

      This writing was very deep and arty, nice one!

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      Gross. Not what I call Art. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.